Shopping Cart



Day 6

Green Water, Green Sky by Mavis Gallant

Reading: Chapter 3 to break on p. 349

August 25, 2020 by Elliott Holt

Chapter 3 starts in the point of view of a new character: Wishart. Gallant makes her reader work. It takes a few pages to understand that this chapter rewinds two years, to the summer when Flor meets Bob Harris in Cannes.

Gallant is so good at writing about class. Wishart, who “had lived one of society’s most grueling roles, the escape from an English slum” is friends with Bonnie, who comes from an upper class American family, only because he has learned to perform.

Bob Harris doesn’t come from old money and has “no attachments to the past.” At first, Flor finds this liberating. She opens the shutters and relishes “a watery world of perceptions.” So different from the Flor who closes the shutters in Paris.

The phrase “it might be possible” is heartbreaking. Flor wants a home so badly that she is trying to persuade herself that Bob is where she belongs.

“Lacking an emotional country, it might be possible to consider another person one’s home.”

Sign up for A Public Space's Newsletter